Saturday, November 17, 2007

On the door

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"dotcomrades" and virtual self-portraits

Two quotes from two articles on friendship and online communities:

(1)

The Dotcomrade: The Many Faces of Online Friendship, by Brian Boyd

Why then—when the flourishing of today’s tools of communication have enabled an explosion of sociability—have the ranks of our closest confidants been diminished? Various interpretations tempt our judgment: Does the “self-creation,” or distortion, made easy by online anonymity and customizable avatars damn us to lose (as Yeats put it) “the heart-revealing intimacy / That chooses right” without which we will “never find a friend”? Does youth culture’s cry, “If you’re not on MySpace, you don’t exist,” reveal a generation of Berkeleyan idealists in the making, to whom “to be is to be perceived”? Or, as Ann Hulbert suggests in a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, does such data imply we are simply making better Aristotelian distinctions between friends—“a stark testament that we value a deep bond when we find it and aren’t fooled when we don’t”?

(2)

Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism, by Christine Rosen

As with any new technological advance, we must consider what type of behavior online social networking encourages. Does this technology, with its constant demands to collect (friends and status), and perform (by marketing ourselves), in some ways undermine our ability to attain what it promises—a surer sense of who we are and where we belong? The Delphic oracle’s guidance was know thyself. Today, in the world of online social networks, the oracle’s advice might be show thyself.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

These crumbs belong to a lost shadow




Once upon a time
about twelve
or three hundred months ago or so
In an empty cottage next to the silent woods
there lived a shadow in a dark corner
In the attic
Waiting for a lost soul to find their childhood again
and some peace
from this world of conflicts and critique

A lonely winter passed
Hundreds of years of winters
if you recall and understand their story
Snow fell
Trees fell
Hearts ached with unknown pain
Unacceptable
Invisible disease
Not the easy road
Not the simple way
like things are supposed to be solved
in this world of practical solutions and logic

These crumbs here belong to a lost shadow
These meals and the wine were meant for company
The walls
the floor
the roof
The doors are waiting
The words unread and unwritten
And the world just continues its reality like before

(MaLj, September 2007)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Brain chemistry

Written by Kathy Krajco in her blog, What Makes Narcissists Tick?:

Nerve cells don’t touch each other. So, how is the electrochemical current of a nerve impulse transmitted from one nerve cell to the next in a nerve pathway? When the impulse reaches the end of a stimulated nerve cell, that cell secretes a chemical into the gap between it and the next nerve cell.

This chemical is the transmitter substance. When enough of it accumulates in the gap – zap – the next nerve cell is stimulated by it.

Now, if another nerve impulse comes along before all the transmitter substance still in the gap has broken down, the new impulse could be weak and still get the next nerve cell to fire, because it would be using transmitter substance leftover from the previous impulse.

Do you see what happens here? The more you use a certain pathway, the more transmitter substance in the gaps accumulates. Then some researcher comes along, runs some tests, and says, “You have an elevated level of blah, blah, blah.”

Oh, my! But that is no disease. It is your brain working the way it is supposed to work. Indeed, this is what gives us memory – transmitter substances that build up and remain virtually permanently in a gap – like the one that remembers your birthday.
(blog link)


Why did i post this? Because I thought it was a cheerful description of a serious fact of life - how the mind works.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Optimism

"Lasting optimism has one essential ally: reason. Any optimism that is unreasonable is bound to be dashed by reality, leading to even more unhappiness. Optimism, therefore, must always be illuminated by the gentle, purging light of reason and be unshakeably grounded in sanity of mind, so that pessimism becomes a foolish, short-sighted attitude. What this means—reasonableness being the tepid, inglorious thing it is—is that optimism can arise only from small but undeniable achievements."
Yann Martel: The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

(link to book excerpt and info)


Monday, April 02, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Young Love

What can I say? It's nearly spring, when a young man's fancy turns to...puppies!
(Behold young Lucy Veronica, also known as Lucita.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Winter